Lewis Stevenson not panicking just yet about Hibs form as defender points out: 'It's been far worse than this'
With veteran Hibs defender Lewis Stevenson now in his seventeenth season of pulling on a green and white jersey, the 33-year-old has seen it all, and done most of it too.
The unassuming full-back has won the League Cup and the Scottish Cup – the only Hibs player in history to do so – and has tasted relegation and title success.
He’s been there for fan protests outside the Easter Road main entrance and electrifying European nights under the lights.
So it’s understandable when he attempts to play down the fact that Hibs have lost their last three league games.
“I think we were better than we were last week [against Dundee United], but still not at the heights we hit last season and at the start of this season,” Stevenson said after Hibs’ 1-0 defeat by Aberdeen.
"Working hard is the most simple thing in football. We definitely need to do a lot more of that and see where that takes us.
"We’ve got quality players and just need to be switched on and more ruthless in both boxes. It could be the hardest thing to do but it’s the most important thing in football.”
One of those defeats came at Ibrox, in a game in which Hibs had the upper hand for the first half hour, and Stevenson reckons some tough games have played their part.
"It’s been harder fixtures – Rangers away, and Dundee United who were on a great run of form – but we’re losing goals at bad times and not reacting well enough,” the always-honest left-back suggested.
"We need to step up as individuals and as a team and not hide behind each other. Everyone – defenders, midfielders, and strikers.
"It must be frustrating for the gaffer that there are so many players out of form at the same time, and it looks bad on him, but it’s us as players that need to step up and show why he puts his faith in us."
Celtic come calling on Wednesday night in a rare mid-table fixture between the two teams but whatever happens under the Easter Road lights, Stevenson isn’t panicking about Hibs’ run of defeats.
"Of course you want to turn around as quickly as possible but I’ve been here a long time, I’ve been in a lot worse situations,” he stated.
"I think we’re still mid-table – I’ve certainly been in positions a lot worse than that, and been part of teams on far worse runs.
"We’ve got a good group of players, quality players, and we’re close as a unit so I’m sure we can turn it around.”
Stevenson also had sympathy for defensive colleague Darren McGregor, who saw red deep into injury time at the end of the match for a second yellow card following an incident with David Bates.
"Daz was frustrated, it seemed like a coming-together, I think the boy’s given Daz a bit, and Daz is bigger and stronger and has given him a bit back,” Stevenson said.
"Football’s probably changed from when he started out – that’s probably the most frustrating thing for him, that it doesn’t seem to be the man’s game that it once was.”